New Broadcom 10GBASE-T PHYs Deliver 50 Percent Lower Power

16th April 2012
Source: Broadcom
Posted By : ES Admin

Broadcom Corporation today announced the addition of two 10GBASE-T physical layer transceivers (PHYs) to its growing portfolio of 10GBASE-T networking solutions. Optimized for top-of-rack switches, 10GbE server adapters and LOMs (LAN on motherboard) in the data center, the highly integrated quad-port BCM84844 and dual-port BCM84846 lower operating power by more than 50 percent(1).

The new PHYs substantially reduce power consumption at 10GE to less than two watts per port through the use of EEE, and extend the benefits of EEE to include all device speeds including 1GbE.

As a result of increasing network traffic and higher bandwidth servers such as Romley, industry analysts predict a 20x increase in 10GBASE-T adoption by 2013, as data centers upgrade to higher densities(2). Broadcom's second generation 40 nanometer (nm) PHYs drive innovation in 10GbE, offering robust operation over 100 meter cables while significantly reducing footprint, cost and power consumption.

Power is critical as network managers seek to reduce cost and carbon footprint of large scale data centers. Broadcom's AutoGrEEEn™ technology enables systems with legacy MACs to get the power savings of EEE in periods of reduced link utilization. Both PHYs provide on-chip IEEE802.1ae MACsec link layer security and 1588v2 precision time protocol (PTP), delivering precise and accurate synchronization of nodes in the network.

Broadcom's new BCM84844 and BCM84846 deliver lower power while offering pin compatibility to previous Broadcom devices (BCM84834 and BCM84836) and integration with Broadcom's broad portfolio of switch, controller, and adapter solutions. This includes PHY drivers within Broadcom's Software Development Kit (SDK) and common implementations of MACsec and 1588v2 PTP.

Market Drivers:

• Global IP traffic expected to grow twenty-fold by 2016(3)

• 10GBASE-T adoption to increase 20x by 2013(2)

• 10GbE port shipments expected to reach 62.2M in 2016 from 8.5 M in 2011(4)

• Massive traffic growth challenges current network architecture(5)

Key Features:

• Supports IEEE Std 802.3az™-2010 Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) capability for 10GBASE-T,

1000BASE-T and 100BASE-TX

• Robust operation over 100m Category 6A cables with industry-standard 4-pair magnetics

• IEEE standard device interoperability: 10 Gbps, 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps

• Broadcom® AutoGrEEEn technology extends EEE power savings to legacy MACs at both

1 and 10 Gbps data rates

• Line-side XFI enables dual-media applications

• Reduced footprint with 27x27mm (BCM84844) and 21x21mm package (BCM84846)


The BCM84844 and BCM84846 are now sampling with production volume slated for 2H12.

Kevin Brown, Broadcom's Vice President and General Manager, PHY

Demand for high-density switches and servers with 10GBASE-T connectivity is growing and our latest PHYs extend the industry-leading features our customers have come to expect from Broadcom. We continue to push the envelope in delivering the industry's most advanced products while driving down cost, footprint and power consumption. Lowering device power to less than two watts per port is an important step forward in the adoption of 10GBASE-T.


(1) 50 percent reduction as compared to previous generation Broadcom 65nm PHYs

(2) Crehan Research, Data Center Switching and Server-Class Adapter & LOM — January 2012

(3) Cisco Virtual Networking Index, 2011 - 2016

(4) Dell'Oro Ethernet Forecast January, 2012

(5) Linley Group Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips December, 2011

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